Silver-Cleaning Tips With Vinegar & Water Softener
White Vinegar Paste
- White vinegar is a natural cleaning solution that will kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and other contaminates. To use it, mix 1 tsp. salt per 1 cup white vinegar in a container. Mix the solution until the salt is completely dissolved. Add flour to the solution until you have a thick paste. Apply this paste to the silver until it is completely covered. Let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing the silver with softened water.
White Vinegar Liquid
- You can use white vinegar in another way to clean your silver items. To use it, mix ½ cup white vinegar per 2 tbsp. baking soda in a container. Mix until the baking soda is completely dissolved. Place the silver in the liquid and let it sit for two to three hours until the tarnish is gone. Rinse the silver with softened water.
Water Softener Paste
- Use powdered water softener to remove tarnish and dirt from silver. To do this, cover the inside of a shallow bowl with aluminum foil and add 1 tbsp. salt and 1 tbsp. water softener. Pour hot, but not boiling, water into the bowl. Stir until the salt and water softener dissolve completely. Put the silver into the solution and let it sit for several minutes until the tarnish and dirt comes off. Rinse with softened water. Don't use this method to clean antique silver or silver with gemstones. Purchase powdered water softener at hardware or home-improvement stores.
RInsing with Softened Water
- Hard water is water that contains an excess amount of minerals, such as calcium and potassium. This can create a white, chalky substance on surfaces in your home including silver. This hard-water residue will cover the shine and brilliance of clean and polished silver. Prevent this by washing silver with softened water. Soften water by adding water softeners to tap water. Use as much water softener as directed by the manufacturer.
Commercial Water Softeners
- Commercial water softeners soften all of your home's water. If you live in an area that has a lot of very hard water, this process can actually help you save money and time by cleaning your clothes, dishes and silver more thoroughly. It will also prevent hard water from building up in your pipes.